I disliked BP, too

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Posted by Roger on July 06, 2005 at 07:48:42:

In Reply to: Too technical? posted by Ross-O on July 06, 2005 at 00:15:28:

Count me among those that tried the BP and didn't like it.

I found it really uncomfortable on the walk down to the boat with a tank on it. In fact, I have a handful of torn shirts, it would grab them and tear them down by the lower slots.

I found it uncomfortable in the water. I'm a photographer, so my arms are always up and forward, and the straps are close to your shoulders, so that's an uncomfortable position. It cuts into your arms, it's fatiguing.

The same strap problem cut into and damaged the zipper on my drysuit, I had to replace it.

I dove it in tropical water with little or no wetsuit, and it was OK, but after a week of diving, 5 hours a day in the water, when your skin and fingernails are really waterlogged and soft, handling that metal plate and that tough web was like getting hit with an axe. It got old.

I didn't like that I needed to adjust the shoulder straps to switch from drysuit to wetsuit.

Yeah, I know, I could have padded the back and straps, but that wouldn't have fixed everything, and it would have been less minimal, less streamlined.

I did like several things about it: the smaller, circular bladder, the crotch strap.

So I switched to a transpac, an XL. I'm 6'3", 250. I love it. I bought a transpac 1 cheap several years ago, with a travel wing, and I just bought a new transpac for the same wing. I love it. It's almost as streamlined as the BP, just as customizable, packs smaller for travel, handles doubles almost as well. I think you get 90% of the benefit of the BP if you get a streamlined harness, (like the transpac), add a crotch strap, and put on the right sized, smallest wing or bladder.

I did look at some of the lighter plastic or minimal BPs, especially for travel, but I want one rig for everywhere, for doubles and singles, with a fast changeover, and the Transpac is built for that. I like using doubles on travel, where they have those child-sized 80's, and the transpac has options made for that: the trek wing, the ultimate travel doubles kit. It's a great system.

I like being weight integrated. I dive several size tanks, several suits, so being weight integrated is quicker than changing belts around and keeps my trim more uniform, my CG stays closer to the same place, it would move more with a belt. I also like pockets, so I added some. These two factors took away from the BP's streamline and level the playing field for me.

For the record, I've a zeagle ranger (too floppy, no structure, too hard to change tanks on a small boat); a seaquest black diamond (bladder too big and floppy, not streamlined enough, not customizable enough); the backplate, and now a transpac. I'm actually on my 2nd transpac, I started with a transpac 1 and now have a 2.

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